Search Projects

Student analyzing tree rings under a microscope

Reconstructing fire history

2018 to 2019
Faculty: Michelle Goman
Partners: Shiloh Ranch Regional Preserve, Center for Environmental Inquiry

We use tree ring analysis of California Bay, Coast Live Oak, and Tanoak to reconstruct fire return intervals in North Bay ecosystems. Study sites include Shiloh Ranch, Osborn, Los Guillicos and Galbreath Preserves. 

Alligator Lizard

Effects of fire on wildlife

2018 to 2019
Faculty: Derek Girman
Partners: Pepperwood Preserve

95% of the Pepperwood Preserve burned during the 2017 North Bay fires. We examine the effects of the North Bay Fires on various species of herpetofauna. 

Wild Boar

Technology to control feral pigs

Faculty: Farid Farahmand
Partners: Center for Environmental Inquiry

Checking invasive pig traps daily in remote backcountry areas can logistically impossible. The Smart Animal Trap is an innovative wild pig trapping system that closes the door only when a pig enters the trap, and then sends a notification to the land manager. 

A red-shouldered hawk viewed through a spotting scope

Petaluma wetland bird diversity

Faculty: Wendy St. John
Partners: Petaluma Wetlands Alliance

We calculated and compared species diversity indices for birds observed by the Petaluma Wetlands Alliance in March surveys between 2010 and 2019. 

Student holding juvenile skink

Effects of microclimate on herpetofaunal diversity

2017 to 2019
Faculty: Wendy St. John, Martha Shott, Nathan Rank
Partners: Center for Environmental Inquiry

Multiple studies that assess suitability of habitat for reptiles and amphibians.

Students taking soil samples

Carbon sequestration in wetlands

2018 to 2019
Faculty: Michelle Goman
Partners: Center for Environmental Inquiry

The amount of organic carbon is a direct indicator of the soil’s ability to sequester carbon dioxide. We study how organic carbon varies with land use and habitat type.


California red-legged frog

California red-legged frog studies

2016 to 2019
Faculty: Derek Girman, Fran Keller
Partners: Sonoma Mountain Ranch Preservation Foundation

We are studying the habitat requirements, and effects of bullfrogs and rainfall on frog movement to help identify factors that could improve California red-legged frog conservation.

California Tiger Salamander

Tiger salamander movement and distribution

2015 to 2019
Faculty: Derek Girman, Jeff Baldwin
Partners: Sonoma County Water Agency, U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife

The California tiger salamander, Ambystoma califoriense. is an endangered species that is endemic to California. To better understand the movement patterns and distribution of this species, we studied the movement of adult salamanders movement between aquatic and upland habitat on the Santa Rosa Plain, and investigated how environmental factors affect reproduction.

Juvenile turtle and calipers

Growth and recruitment in western pond turtles

Faculty: Daniel Crocker

The western pond turtle (Emys marmorata) is listed as a California Species of Special Concern. We are studying factors that influence growth rate, a key variable in maintaining viable populations. 

Juvenile steelhead trout in plastic cups

New device for monitoring steelhead larvae

Faculty: Ali Kujoory
Partners: Trout Unlimited

We created a device to monitor temperature, oxidation reduction potential, and light value of tanks used by Trout Unlimited to raise the trout eggs they provide at schools for programs like "Steelhead in the Classroom".